Category Archives: News

Some of the ways in which my mother was a good mother

I am in the stage of recognizing that she was not, due to the emotional abuse and its profundity, but here is something really good.

My mother came from a relatively racist, classist, and anti-Semitic background and rather than propagate that or deny it, she fought against those sentiments and learned to shed them. This meant there were many burdens we did not have to carry ourselves. In addition, she provided us with an excellent role model as she worked to evolve.

I could say a great deal about what led me to think about this, and I realize that like so many perceptions I have, it could lead to a good article or memoir.

Axé.

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Filed under Banes, News

The paragraphs in question

Era su tipo el de las vírgenes de los más célebres pintores. Porque a una frente alta, coronada de cabellos negros y copiosos, naturalmente ondeados, unía facciones muy regulares, nariz recta que arrancaba desde el entrecejo, y por quedarse algo corta alzaba un si es no es el labio superior, como para dejar ver dos sartas de dientes menudos y blancos. Sus cejas describían un arco y daban mayor sombra a los ojos negros y rasgados, los cuales eran todo movilidad y fuego. La boca tenía chica y los labios llenos, indicando más voluptuosidad que firmeza de carácter. Las mejillas llenas y redondas y un hoyuelo en medio de la barba, formaban un conjunto bello, que para ser perfecto sólo faltaba que la expresión fuese menos maliciosa, si no maligna.

De cuerpo era más bien delgada que gruesa, para su edad antes baja que crecida, y el torso, visto de espaldas, angosto en el cuello y ancho hacia los hombros, formaba armonía encantadora, aun bajo sus humildes ropas, con el estrecho y flexible talle, que no hay medio de compararle sino con la base de una copa. La complexión podía pasar por saludable, la encarnación viva, hablando en el sentido en que los pintores toman esta palabra, aunque a poco que se fijaba la atención, se advertía en el color del rostro, que sin dejar de ser sanguíneo había demasiado ocre en su composición, y no resultaba diáfano ni libre. ¿A qué raza, pues, pertenecía esta muchacha? Difícil es decirlo. Sin embargo, a un ojo conocedor no podía esconderse que sus labios rojos tenían un borde o filete oscuro, y que la iluminación del rostro terminaba en una especie de penumbra hacia el nacimiento del cabello. Su sangre no era pura y bien podía asegurarse que allá en la tercera o cuarta generación estaba mezclada con la etíope.

Is she an angel or a devil? The bolded words indicate that my use of the word “discerning” for “conocedor” is in fact warranted.

Axé.

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Filed under News, Questions, Race book, Uncategorized

On defenses of the Confederacy and Jim Crow

I did not know, and do not want to know, and my father was always kind to his workers, who did not need to unionize.

This kind of statement, especially from an adult in this day and age, is not a sweet excuse but actually a refusal to look at reality and to change it.

It really means:

I do not care about what happened or is happening, I only care about feeling innocent and virtuous as an individual.

ADDENDUM: I should write about my mother in relation to this. One of the ways in which she was a good mother was that she did not try to teach this, but tried to teach against it despite having been taught a great deal of this herself.

Axé.

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Filed under Da Whiteman, News

On that Heineken advertisement

I can write in more detail later, but I do note that when Frederick Douglass visited the house where he had spent time as a child–my family’s house–they did in fact offer him, and he did in fact accept a glass of wine. They were at the same time involved in reenslavement at their Mississippi properties, and I have additional reasons not to think the glass of wine was terribly meaningful.

I am also somewhat alarmed nowadays to note that respect for “diversity” is defined as remembering that white people “have rights, too.”

Axé.

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Filed under News, Questions, Working

How capitalism endures

Silvia Federici on women and many issues, brought to you by KPFA. Listen.

Despite the precariousness that it creates, why does capitalism survive?  Radical theorist Silvia Federici discusses how capitalism perpetuates itself by dispossessing and dividing us, while putting the job of reproducing the workforce squarely on the shoulders of the working class, especially women.  She considers the missteps that the feminist movement made in confronting the rise of neoliberal capitalism and argues for an approach that leads to the reappropriation of power from below.

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Filed under Movement, News, Working

Vilna

Napoleon called Vilnius (Vilna) “the Jerusalem of the North.” It was 40% Jewish and all were literate. It was also 95% destroyed in the second war, with almost all of the Jewish population killed.

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Taganka

So it is, dear descendants of Alexander Veniaminovich! The evening dedicated to our common ancestor is scheduled for May 24, Wednesday, at 18 o’clock at the House of the Russian Diaspora in Taganka Square, Moscow. There will be invitations. Write here, who and how many people are coming, or send me a personal message. Bring the children!

Значит так, дорогие потомки Александра Вениаминовича! Вечер, посвященный общему нашему родственнику, намечается на 24 мая, в среду, в 18 часов в Доме русского зарубежья на Таганке. Будут пригласительные билеты. Пишите сюда, кому сколько или мне в личку. Приводите детей!

Axé.

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Filed under A.V. Bari, News